(iii) Employer means a person, firm, corporation, contractor, or other association, or organization which:
(A) Engages a person to work within the CNMI; and
(B) Has or will have an employer-employee relationship with the CW-1 nonimmigrant being petitioned for.
(v) Lawfully present in the CNMI means that the alien:
(A) At the time the application for CW status is filed, is an alien lawfully present in the CNMI under 48 U.S.C. 1806(e); or
(B) Was lawfully admitted or paroled into the CNMI under the immigration laws on or after the transition program effective date, other than an alien admitted or paroled as a visitor for business or pleasure (B-1 or B-2, under any visa-free travel provision or parole of certain visitors from Russia and the People's Republic of China), and remains in a lawful immigration status.
(vi) Legitimate business means a real, active, and operating commercial or entrepreneurial undertaking which produces services or goods for profit, or is a governmental, charitable or other validly recognized nonprofit entity. The business must meet applicable legal requirements for doing business in the CNMI. A business will not be considered legitimate if it engages directly or indirectly in prostitution, trafficking in minors, or any other activity that is illegal under Federal or CNMI law. DHS will determine whether a business is legitimate.
(vii) Minor child means a child as defined in section 101(b)(1) of the Act who is under 18 years of age.
(viii) Numerical limitation means the maximum number of persons who may be granted CW-1 status in a given fiscal year or other period as determined by DHS, as follows:
(A) For fiscal year 2011, the numerical limitation is 22,417 per fiscal year.
(B) For fiscal year 2012, the numerical limitation is 22,416 per fiscal year.
(C) For each fiscal year beginning on October 1, 2012 until the end of the transition period, the numerical limitation will be a number less than 22,416 that is determined by DHS and published via Notice in the Federal Register. The numerical limitation for any fiscal year will be less than the number for the previous fiscal year, and will be a number reasonably calculated in DHS's discretion to reduce the number of CW-1 nonimmigrants to zero by the end of the transition period.
(D) DHS may adjust the numerical limitation for a fiscal year or other period in its discretion at any time via Notice in the Federal Register, as long as such adjustment is consistent with paragraph (w)(1)(viii)(C) of this section.
(E) If the numerical limitation is not reached for a specified fiscal year, unused numbers do not carry over to the next fiscal year.
(ix) Occupational category means those employment activities that DHS has determined require alien workers to supplement the resident workforce and includes:
(A) Professional, technical, or management occupations;
(B) Clerical and sales occupations;
(C) Service occupations;
(D) Agricultural, fisheries, forestry, and related occupations;
(E) Processing occupations;
(F) Machine trade occupations;
(G) Benchwork occupations;
(H) Structural work occupations; and
(I) Miscellaneous occupations.
(x) Petition means USCIS Form I-129CW, Petition for a CNMI-Only Nonimmigrant Transitional Worker, a successor form, other form, or electronic equivalent, any supplemental information requested by USCIS, and additional evidence as may be prescribed or requested by USCIS.
(xi) Transition period means the period beginning on the transition program effective date and ending on December 31, 2014, unless the CNMI-only transitional worker program is extended by the Secretary of Labor, in which case the transition period will end for purposes of the CW transitional worker program on the date designated by the Secretary of Labor.
(xii) United States worker means a national of the United States, an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or a national of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the Republic of Palau who is eligible for nonimmigrant admission and is employment-authorized under the Compacts of Free Association between the United States and those nations.
(2) Eligible aliens. Subject to the numerical limitation, an alien may be classified as a CW-1 nonimmigrant if, during the transition period, the alien:
(i) Will enter or remain in the CNMI for the purpose of employment in the transition period in an occupational category that DHS has designated as requiring alien workers to supplement the resident workforce;
(ii) Is petitioned for by an employer;
(iii) Is not present in the United States, other than the CNMI;
(iv) If present in the CNMI, is lawfully present in the CNMI;
(v) Is not inadmissible to the United States as a nonimmigrant or has been granted a waiver of each applicable ground of inadmissibility; and
(vi) Is ineligible for status in a nonimmigrant worker classification under section 101(a)(15) of the Act.
(3) Derivative beneficiaries - CW-2 nonimmigrant classification. The spouse or minor child of a CW-1 nonimmigrant may accompany or follow the alien as a CW-2 nonimmigrant if the alien:
(i) Is not present in the United States, other than the CNMI;
(ii) If present in the CNMI, is lawfully present in the CNMI; and
(iii) Is not inadmissible to the United States as a nonimmigrant or has been granted a waiver of each applicable ground of inadmissibility.
(4) Eligible employers. To be eligible to petition for a CW-1 nonimmigrant worker, an employer must:
(i) Be engaged in legitimate business;
(ii) Consider all available United States workers for the position being filled by the CW-1 worker;
(iii) Offer terms and conditions of employment which are consistent with the nature of the petitioner's business and the nature of the occupation, activity, and industry in the CNMI; and
(iv) Comply with all Federal and Commonwealth requirements relating to employment, including but not limited to nondiscrimination, occupational safety, and minimum wage requirements.
(5) Petition requirements. An employer who seeks to classify an alien as a CW-1 worker must file a petition with USCIS and pay the requisite petition fee plus the CNMI education fee of $150 per beneficiary per year. An employer filing a petition is eligible to apply for a waiver of the fee based upon inability to pay as provided by 8 CFR 103.7(c). If the beneficiary will perform services for more than one employer, each employer must file a separate petition with fees with USCIS.
(6) Appropriate documents. Documentary evidence establishing eligibility for CW status is required. A petition must be accompanied by:
(i) Evidence demonstrating the petitioner meets the definition of eligible employer in this section;
(ii) An attestation by the petitioner certified as true and accurate by an appropriate official of the petitioner, of the following:
(A) No qualified United States worker is available to fill the position;
(B) The employer is doing business as defined in paragraph (w)(1)(ii) of this section;
(C) The employer is a legitimate business as defined in paragraph (w)(1)(vi) of this section;
(D) The employer is an eligible employer as described in paragraph (w)(4) of this section and will continue to comply with the requirements for an eligible employer until such time as the employer no longer employs the CW-1 nonimmigrant worker;
(E) The beneficiary meets the qualifications for the position;
(F) The beneficiary, if present in the CNMI, is lawfully present in the CNMI;
(G) The position is not temporary or seasonal employment, and the petitioner does not reasonably believe it to qualify for any other nonimmigrant worker classification; and
(H) The position falls within the list of occupational categories designated by DHS.
(iii) Evidence of licensure if an occupation requires a Commonwealth or local license for an individual to fully perform the duties of the occupation. Categories of valid licensure for CW-1 classification are:
(A) Licensure. An alien seeking CW-1 classification in that occupation must have that license prior to approval of the petition to be found qualified to enter the CNMI and immediately engage in employment in the occupation.
(B) Temporary licensure. If a temporary license is available and allowed for the occupation with a temporary license, USCIS may grant the petition at its discretion after considering the duties performed, the degree of supervision required, and any limitations placed on the alien by the employer and/or pursuant to the temporary license.
(C) Duties without licensure. If the CNMI allows an individual to fully practice the occupation that usually requires a license without a license under the supervision of licensed senior or supervisory personnel in that occupation, USCIS may grant CW-1 status at its discretion after considering the duties performed, the degree of supervision received, and any limitations placed on the alien if the facts demonstrate that the alien under supervision could fully perform the duties of the occupation.
(7) Change of employers. A change of employment to a new employer inconsistent with paragraphs (w)(7)(i) and (ii) of this section will constitute a failure to maintain status within the meaning of section 237(a)(1)(C)(i) of the Act. A CW-1 nonimmigrant may change employers if:
(i) The prospective new employer files a petition to classify the alien as a CW-1 worker in accordance with paragraph (w)(5) of this section, and
(ii) An extension of the alien's stay is requested if necessary for the validity period of the petition.
(iii) A CW-1 may work for a prospective new employer after the prospective new employer files a Form I-129CW petition on the employee's behalf if:
(A) The prospective employer has filed a nonfrivolous petition for new employment before the date of expiration of the CW-1's authorized period of stay; and
(B) Subsequent to his or her lawful admission, the CW-1 has not been employed without authorization in the United States.
(iv) Employment authorization shall continue for such alien until the new petition is adjudicated. If the new petition is denied, such authorization shall cease.
(v) If a CW-1's employment has been terminated prior to the filing of a petition by a prospective new employer consistent with paragraphs (w)(7)(i) and (ii), the CW-1 will not be considered to be in violation of his or her CW-1 status during the 30-day period immediately following on which the CW-1's employment terminated if a nonfrivolous petition is filed consistent with this paragraph within that 30-day period and the CW-1 does not otherwise violate the terms and conditions of his or her status during that 30-day period.
(8) Amended or new petition. If there are any material changes in the terms and conditions of employment, the petitioner must file an amended or new petition to reflect the changes.
(9) Multiple beneficiaries. A petitioning employer may include more than one beneficiary in a CW-1 petition of the beneficiaries will be working in the same occupational category, for the same period of time, and in the same location.
(10) Named beneficiaries. The petition must include the name of the beneficiary and other required information, as indicated in the form instructions, at the time of filing. Unnamed beneficiaries will not be permitted.
(11) Early termination. The petitioning employer must pay the reasonable cost of return transportation of the alien to the alien's last place of foreign residence if the alien is dismissed from employment for any reason by the employer before the end of the period of authorized admission.
(12) Approval. USCIS will consider all the evidence submitted and such other evidence required in the form instructions to adjudicate the petition. USCIS will notify the petitioner of the approval of the petition on Form I-797, Notice of Action, or in another form as USCIS may prescribe:
(i) The approval notice will include the classification and name of the beneficiary or beneficiaries and the petition's period of validity. A petition for more than one beneficiary may be approved in whole or in part.
(ii) The petition may not be filed or approved earlier than six months before the date of actual need for the beneficiary's services.
(13) Petition validity. An approved petition will be valid for a period of up to one year.
(14) How to apply for CW-1 or CW-2 status. (i) Upon approval of the petition, a beneficiary, his or her eligible spouse, and or his or her minor child(ren) outside the CNMI will be informed in the approval notice of where they may apply for a visa authorizing admission in CW-1 or CW-2 status.
(ii) If the beneficiary is present in the CNMI, the petition also serves as the application for a grant of status as a CW-1.
(iii) If the eligible spouse and/or minor child(ren) are present in the CNMI, the spouse or child(ren) may apply for CW-2 dependent status on Form I-539 (or such alternative form as USCIS may designate) in accordance with the form instructions. The CW-2 status may not be approved until approval of the CW-1 petition. A spouse or child applying for CW-2 status on Form I-539 is eligible to apply for a waiver of the fee based upon inability to pay as provided by 8 CFR 103.7(c).
(15) Biometrics and other information. The beneficiary of a CW-1 petition or the spouse or child applying for a grant or, extension of CW-2 status, or a change of status to CW-2 status, must submit biometric information as requested by USCIS. For a Form I-129CW petition where the beneficiary is present in the CNMI, the employer must submit the biometric service fee described in 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1) with the petition for each beneficiary for which CW-1 status is being requested or request a fee waiver for any biometric services provided, including but not limited to reuse of previously provided biometric information for background checks. For a Form I-539 application where the applicant is present in the CNMI, the applicant must submit a biometric service fee for each CW-2 nonimmigrant on the application with the application or obtain a waiver of the biometric service fee described in 8 CFR 103.7(b)(1) for any biometric services provided, including but not limited to reuse of previously provided biometric information for background checks. A biometric service fee is not required for beneficiaries under the age of 14, or who are at least 79 years of age.
(16) Period of admission. (i) A CW-1 nonimmigrant will be admitted for the period of petition validity, plus up to 10 days before the validity period begins and 10 days after the validity period ends. The CW-1 nonimmigrant may not work except during the validity period of the petition. A CW-2 spouse will be admitted for the same period as the principal alien. A CW-2 minor child will be admitted for the same period as the principal alien, but such admission will not extend beyond the child's 18th birthday.
(ii) The temporary departure from the CNMI of the CW-1 nonimmigrant will not affect the derivative status of the CW-2 spouse and minor children, provided the familial relationship continues to exist and the principal remains eligible for admission as a CW-1 nonimmigrant.
(17) Extension of petition validity and extension of stay. (i) The petitioner may request an extension of an employee's CW-1 nonimmigrant status by filing a new petition.
(ii) A request for a petition extension may be filed only if the validity of the original petition has not expired.
(iii) Extensions of CW-1 status may be granted for a period of up to 1 year until the end of the transition period, subject to the numerical limitation.
(iv) To qualify for an extension of stay, the petitioner must demonstrate that the beneficiary or beneficiaries:
(A) Continuously maintained the terms and conditions of CW-1 status;
(B) Remains admissible to the United States; and
(C) Remains eligible for CW-1 classification.
(v) The derivative CW-2 nonimmigrant may file an application for extension of nonimmigrant stay on Form I-539 (or such alternative form as USCIS may designate) in accordance with the form instructions. The CW-2 status extension may not be approved until approval of the CW-1 extension petition.
(18) Change or adjustment of status. A CW-1 or CW-2 nonimmigrant can apply to change nonimmigrant status under section 248 of the Act or apply for adjustment of status under section 245 of the Act, if otherwise eligible. During the transition period, CW-1 or CW-2 nonimmigrants may be the beneficiary of a petition for or may apply for any nonimmigrant or immigrant visa classification for which them may qualify.
(19) Effect of filing an application for or approval of a permanent labor certification, preference petition, or filing of an application for adjustment of status on CW-1 or CW-2 classification. An alien may be granted, be admitted in and maintain lawful CW-1 or CW-2 nonimmigrant status while, at the same time, lawfully seeking to become a lawful permanent resident of the United States, provided he or she intends to depart the CNMI voluntarily at the end of the period of authorized stay. The filing of an application for or approval of a permanent labor certification or an immigrant visa preference petition, the filing of an application for adjustment of status, or the lack of residence abroad will not be the basis for denying:
(i) A CW-1 petition filed on behalf of the alien;
(ii) A request to extend a CW-1 status pursuant to a petition previously filed on behalf of the alien;
(iii) An application for CW-2 classification filed by an alien;
(iv) A request to extend CW-2 status pursuant to the extension of a related CW-1 alien's extension; or
(v) An application for admission as a CW-1 or CW-2 nonimmigrant.
(20) Rejection. USCIS may reject an employer's petition for new or extended CW-1 status if the numerical limitation has been met. In that case, the petition and accompanying fee will be rejected and returned with the notice that numbers are unavailable for the CW nonimmigrant classification. The beneficiary's application for admission based upon an approved petition will not be rejected based upon the numerical limitation.
(21) Denial. The ultimate decision to grant or deny CW-1 or CW-2 classification is a discretionary determination, and the petition or the application may be denied for failure of the petitioner or the applicant to demonstrate eligibility or for other good cause. The denial of a petition to classify an alien as a CW-1 may be appealed to the USCIS Administrative Appeals Office or any successor body. The denial of a grant of CW-1 or CW-2 status within the CNMI, or of an application for change or extension of status filed under this section, may not be appealed.
(22) Terms and conditions of CW Nonimmigrant status. (i) Geographical limitations. CW-1 and CW-2 statuses are applicable only in the CNMI. Entry, employment and residence in the rest of the United states (including Guam) require the appropriate visa or visa waiver. Except as provided in paragraph (w)(22)(iii) of this section, an alien with CW-1 or CW-2 status who enters or attempts to enter, or travels or attempts to travel to any other part of the United States without an appropriate visa or visa waiver, or who violates conditions of nonimmigrant stay applicable to any such authorized status in any other part of the United States, will be deemed to have violated CW-1 or CW-2 status.
(ii) Re-entry. An alien with CW-1 or CW-2 status who travels abroad from the CNMI will require a CW-1 or CW-2 or other appropriate visa to be readmitted to the CNMI.
(iii) Direct Guam transit.
(A) Travel from the CNMI to the Philippines. An alien with CW-1 or CW-2 status who is a national of the Philippines may travel to the Philippines via a direct Guam transit without being deemed to violate that status.
(B) Travel from the Philippines to the CNMI. An alien who is a national of the Philippines may travel to the CNMI via a direct Guam transit under the following conditions: If an immigration officer determines that the alien warrants a discretionary exercise of parole authority, the alien may be paroled into Guam via direct Guam transit to undergo preinspection outbound from Guam for admission to the CNMI pursuant to 8 CFR 235.5(a) or to proceed for inspection upon arrival in the CNMI. During any such preinspection, the alien will be admitted in CW-1 or CW-2 status if the immigration officer in Guam determines that the alien is admissible to the CNMI. A condition of the admission is that the alien must complete the direct Guam transit. DHS, in its discretion, may exempt such alien from the provisions of 8 CFR 235.5(a) relating to separation and boarding of passengers after inspection.
(iv) Employment authorization. An alien with CW-1 nonimmigrant status is only authorized employment in the CNMI for the petitioning employer. An alien with CW-2 status is not authorized to be employed.
(23) Expiration of status. CW-1 status expires when the alien violates his or her CW-1 status (or in the case of a CW-1 status violation caused solely be termination of the alien's employment, at the end of the 30 day period described in section 214.2(w)(7)(v)), 10 days after the end of the petition's validity period, or at the end of the transitional worker program, whichever is earlier. CW-2 nonimmigrant status expires when the status of the related CW-1 alien expires, on a CW-2 minor child's 18th birthday, when the alien violates his or her status, or at the end of the transitional worker program, whichever is earlier. No alien will be eligible for admission to the CNMI in CW-1 or CW-2 status, and no CW-1 or CW-2 visa will be valid for travel to the CNMI, after the transitional worker program ends.
(24) Wavers of inadmissibility for applicants lawfully present in the CNMI. An applicant for CW-1 or CW-2 nonimmigrant status, who is otherwise eligible for such status and otherwise admissible to the Untied States, and who possesses appropriate documents demonstrating that the applicant is lawfully present in the CNMI, may be granted a waiver of inadmissibility under section 212(d)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act, including the grounds of inadmissibility described in sections 212(a)(6)(A)(i) and 212(a)(7)(B)(i)(II) of the Act, as a matter of discretion for the purpose of granting the CW-1 or CW-2 nonimmigrant status. Such waiver may be granted without additional form or fee. Appropriate documents required for such a waiver include a valid unexpired passport and other documentary evidence demonstrating that the applicant is lawfully present in the CNMI, such as an "umbrella permit" or a DHS-issued Form I-94. Evidence that the applicant possesses appropriate documents may be provided by an employer to accompany a petition, by an eligible spouse or minor child to accompany the Form I-539 (or such alternative form as USCIS may designate), or in such manner as USCIS may designate.